A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 14, 2019
Dapanji or Da Pan Ji (Big Plate Chicken)

"Dapanji” or “da pan ji” (literally, “big plate chicken") is a dish from Xinjiang in northwest China. It originated with the Hui people and is a popular dish among Uyghurs.

The “big plate chicken” consists of chicken (usually with most of its parts), bell peppers, potatoes, garlic ginger and onions in a spicy sauce, served over thick, hand-pulled noodles. “Another dish I will not forget is dapanji, or a ‘big plate of chicken’ that’s marinated and cooked whole in a delicious spicy sauce” was printed in the Northwest Asian Weekly (Seattle, WA) on November 3, 2000. A recipe for “Big-Plate Chicken (Da Pan Ji)” was printed in the New York (NY) Times on December 3, 2000. “More descriptively known as Big Plate Chicken, the dish, a specialty of Spicy Village, is a big plate of on-the-bone chicken in a fiery stew of potatoes, onions, and chili peppers” was printed in the article “Where to Find Uyghur Food in NYC” in The Village Voice (New York, NY) on July 18, 2013.


Wikipedia: Dapanji
Dapanji (Chinese: 大盘鸡; pinyin: dàpánjī; literally: “big plate chicken") or chong texse toxu qorumisi (Uyghur: چوڭ تەخسە توخۇ قورۇمىسى, чоң тәхсә тоху қорумиси‎; also spelled qong təhsə tohu ⱪorumisi) is a type of chicken stew. It is a popular dish that originated in Xinjiang, China.
(...)
History
The dish gained popularity in Xinjiang in the mid-to-late 1990s. It is said to have been invented in Shawan, northern Xinjiang, by a migrant from Sichuan who mixed hot chili peppers with chicken and potatoes in an attempt to reproduce a Sichuan taste. The dish was served on a big plate by restaurateurs along the Xinjiang highways as a quick fix for hungry truck drivers who often arrived at an odd time of the day. Its rich flavor and heartiness quickly made the dish a favorite of the region, and the dish then spread to the rest of China.

Ingredients and preparation
The main ingredients are chicken, bell peppers and potatoes, cooked with onions, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, ground cumin, star anise, ground Sichuan peppers, cooking oil, also optionally soy sauce and beer.

The chicken is cut into bite size pieces (usually unboned), sautéed with spices and coarsely chopped vegetables, and simmered in broth, providing a savory and spicy casserole-like dish. It is usually served with latiaozi (hand stretched noodles) or laghman, and shared by family and friends in a communal manner.

Google Books
Folklore and Identity in a Uighur Community in Xinjiang, China
By Jay Todd Dautcher
Thesis (Ph. D. in Anthropology)--University of California, Berkeley
Fall 1999
Pg. 163:
The men, it seemed, had other plans for the day; namely, they had invited the three ladies for an afternoon of amusement by the riverside, where we spent the next few hours drinking beer, telling jokes, and chatting, before going to a restaurant on the far side of the city for a local specialty, “Big Plate Chicken.”

3 November 2000, Northwest Asian Weekly (Seattle, WA), “Asian Palate: Think twice about the definition of Chinese food” by Jason Liu, pg. 6:
Another dish I will not forget is dapanji, or a “big plate of chicken” that’s marinated and cooked whole in a delicious spicy sauce. Included in this dish are noodles that soak up the sauce. After eating hot pot or dapanji, you face feels like a hundred degrees, your entire body feels warm and you feel fat from eating so much.

3 December 2000, New York (NY) Times, “Food: The Clandestine Chef: In one region of China, sharing a peppercorn recipe is cause for paranoia” by Jonathan Reynolds, magazine sec., pg. 142, col. 4:
Big-Plate Chicken
(Da Pan Ji)

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds chicken, bone in, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 new or Yukon gold potato, quartered
1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into 1/8-inch chunks
1/2 red pepper, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 green pepper cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 long hot pepper, sliced, or 1 jaapefio, sliced in rings
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 3/4-inch chunks .
3/4 cup water.

1. In a wok or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil till almost smoking and stir in the salt.
2. Brown the chicken and remove from wok.
3. Brown the potato in the oil quickly (no more than 3 minutes).
4. Add the ginger, the red, green and hot peppers and the onion. Stir-fry for I minute.
5. Return the chicken to the wok, add the water and bring to a boil. Swish everything around, then braise 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Serve over rice or noodles. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

19 August 2005, Daily Tribune (Wisconsin Rapids, WI), “Chinese farmers still wary following bird flu outbreak” by Audra Ang (AP), pg. 5A, col. 6:
In restaurants, customers tuck into “dapanji”—literally, “big plate chicken”—a local specialty with a steaming pile of meat, potatoes and peppers slathered in a spicy sauce.

Google Books
Frommer’s China
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
2006
Pg. 109:
The da pan ji (diced chicken, pepper, potatoes, and thick noodles in tomato sauce) is spicy, so when they ask if you like it hot, be honest.

Twitter
London Eating
@londoneating
Restaurant of the day: Silk Road - Uyghur / Xin Jiang cuisine in Camberwell. Go for jiaozi and Big Plate Chicken! http://tiny.cc/jimXs
4:41 AM - 25 Aug 2009

The Village Voice (New York, NY)
Where to Find Uyghur Food in NYC
by JAMES A. FOLEY
JULY 18, 2013
(...)
Spicy Village , 68 Forsyth Street
This Henan noodle shop in Chinatown is definitely not an Uyghur restaurant, but it serves a staple found at every Uyghur joint in China: dapanji. More descriptively known as Big Plate Chicken, the dish, a specialty of Spicy Village, is a big plate of on-the-bone chicken in a fiery stew of potatoes, onions, and chili peppers.

New York (NY) Times
Vintage Americana and Spicy Chicken
By Julie Besonen
Nov. 14, 2014
(...)
Three stalls (at the New World Mall—ed.) serve Uighur food, which comes from an ethnic minority of Muslims from Xinjiang, a province in northwestern China. The newest is SAUTé SPICY CHICKEN at No. 23, specializing in da pan ji, or “big plate chicken.” Language barriers aside, the cashier takes orders in English, including levels of heat. Medium spicy is plenty spicy. A short curtain allows views of a cook wielding a cleaver and hacking the meat to order (beware of bone chips), then tossing it in a flaming wok with potatoes, orange and yellow peppers, star anise, ginger, garlic, black pepper and chile peppers. The russet-hued stew is ladled over hand-pulled noodles or rice. It costs $12 and easily feeds two, if not four.

The Woks of Life
BIG PLATE CHICKEN (CHINESE DA PAN JI) WITH NOODLES
PUBLISHED: MARCH 2, 2015 LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 8, 2018
For readers who’ve been to or lived in some parts of China, a big dish of “big plate chicken” (大盘鸡, da pan ji) is like coming home. It’s one of those dishes that has caught on like wildfire in larger Chinese cities, and many restaurants have added it to their menus. This Chinese chicken stew recipe originated in the Xinjiang, China where bold and tasty spices are used like in our Xinjiang Fried Chicken.

YouTube
AWESOME DaPanJi or “Big Plate Chicken” | Delicious food from Xinjiang’s Hui people
Travel Xinjiang: Far West China
Published on Aug 3, 2017
One of the most popular dishes in western China is what’s known as DaPanJi, directly translated as “Big Plate Chicken”. It’s a perfect name, actually, because that’s what it is: a big. plate. of chicken. smile

YouTube
Dapanji with Hand Pulled Kudaimian Noodles - Uyghur Big Plate Chicken (大盘鸡/چوڭ تەخسە توخۇ قورۇمىسى)
Chinese Cooking Demystified
Published on Nov 6, 2017
Dapanji, an awesome dish from Xinjiang in the northwest of China.  This dish is a combination of the flavors of Northwest China, and a great introduction to Xinjiang cuisine.

Together with this, we also decided to show you how to make the kudaimian hand pulled noodles.  We’re a bit new to noodle pulling, but with this technique you should be able to make the wide hand pulled noodles that’re usually served alongside this dish.

Twitter
Arthur Pitt
@ArthurPitt
Happy Chinese New Year 2019.  To celebrate I decided to try a new dish (I did not cook this).  It is called Xinjiang Chicken Platter or Big Plate Chicken 新疆大盘鸡.  It is served with both rice and noodles.  The photos do it no justice.  One of my new favorites.
7:26 PM - 5 Feb 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, February 14, 2019 • Permalink